West Ham have been performing far above expectations this season, and find themselves on course for a finish in the European qualification places.
Despite losing to Chelsea on Boxing Day, should the Hammers keep up their impressive form there is no doubt that a Europa League place will be theirs come the end of the campaign, and with many other sides faltering, they should really be aiming for the Champions League.
There have been some outstanding performers in the Irons’ ranks this term, with Sam Allardyce’s summer purchases leading the club up the table. Diafra Sakho, Enner Valencia, Alex Song and Aaron Cresswell have all been winning plaudits, but the creator of the side - and the key man in midfield - has proven to be a man who moved to the Boleyn Ground last season.
Former Liverpool winger Stewart Downing has moved to the tip of Allardyce’s new look diamond midfield, and has created the second most goalscoring chances in the entire Premier League - second to Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas - whilst registering four goals and six assists on top.
It is Downing who has put in a lot of the work for his teammates to thrive upon, and left-back Aaron Cresswell has named the 30-year-old as his player of the season.
“Stewart's had a fantastic career,” the former Ipswich defender told the official Hammers website. “He's played for Liverpool and played for England so that shows you how good he is. Since his move to the middle he's been my in-form player of the season. He's been fantastic for us, scoring and creating goals.”
Cresswell also reserved praise for Andy Carroll, who has hit a rich vein of form in front of goal since recovering from a long-term injury. With three goals in his last four games, the English forward is the Irons third top scorer, and looks set to fill the void left by Diafra Sakho when he heads off to the African Cup of Nations in January.
He added: “Andy's a fantastic player, he's had a few injuries recently but thankfully he's back now. He's been brilliant since he's come back and that's helped us get where we are now in the league.”